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Senior Taliban Member Killed in Pakistan

  • VOA News

FILE - Pakistani policemen stand at the site of an attack, on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2014.
Unidentified gunmen killed former Afghan Taliban minister Maulvi Abdul Raqeeb Takhari late Monday in Peshawar, police and militant sources confirmed.

Raqeeb was believed to be a close associate of Mutasim Agha Jan, a Taliban leader based in Turkey who favors peace talks with President Hamid Karzai’s administration to end the Afghan insurgency.

Jan claims support from fugitive Taliban Chief Mullah Omar, but there is no independent confirmation.

Jan condemned Raqeeb's killing as “the handiwork of the enemy of Islam, Afghanistan, peace and stability.” He said the former Minister for Refugees Affairs was “a peace campaigner.”

There are no claims of responsibility for the assassination in northwestern Pakistan.

Raqeeb was reportedly at the meeting earlier this month in Dubai, where Jan and other Taliban leaders launched the campaign to support the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The names others at the meeting have yet to be disclosed.

In recent months, several senior members of the Afghan Taliban have also been shot dead in the southern Pakistani city of Quetta.

Insurgent sources blame Afghanistan’s intelligence agency for being behind the assassinations. But officials in Kabul deny the charges, and cite rifts and Taliban infighting for the killings.